Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders at UBS Arena on Thursday night.
GOLD STAR: Noah Dobson had a strong night for the Islanders creating offense with his point shot. The Islanders tied the game on a Dobson point blast that rattled around Linus Ullmark before J.G. Pageau cruised through the crease to pop in the loose puck for the evening goal in the second period. Then Dobson notched the game-winner 5:50 into the third period when he snapped off another point shot through traffic that Ullmark never even saw on the pucks way to the net. The shot banged off the post and Ullmark’s back before settling in the back of the net. Dobson finished with a goal, two points, a plus-1 rating, six shot attempts and a blocked shot in a strong 19:49 of ice time for the Islanders D-man.
BLACK EYE: David Pastrnak was red-hot in January with his 12 goals, but No. 88 has struggled the last few games with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand missing from the Boston Bruins attack. He’s making questionable decisions with the puck, turning things over at key times that are damaging for the Bruins and not offering enough resistance against the other team. He’s also again passing up open shots at the opposing net in games where a goal from No. 88 could make a big difference for the Boston Bruins. Pastrnak finished with three shots on net, a giveaway and a team-worst minus-2 rating in 21:01 of ice time in Thursday night’s disappointing defeat.
TURNING POINT: The game turned on a really unnecessary tripping penalty by Erik Haula in the neutral zone chopping down with his stick on an Islanders puck carrier. It probably would have been slashing if he’d actually made contact with the stick, but instead he missed with his overhand swing and the stick blade tripped up Oliver Wahlstrom. It was an easy penalty call on Haula in a 1-0 game where the Boston Bruins were protecting the lead, and that turned into an Islanders power play goal that changed the complexion of the game. Haula played very well in January centering Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak, but it feels like some of the bad portions of his game are coming out again this month.
HONORABLE MENTION: Taylor Hall scored Boston’s only goal and was by far the best guy on the ice for the Black and Gold. Hall’s goal was a matter of speeding down the left wing and then firing a shot inside the near post that fooled Ilya Sorokin to give Boston a 1-0 lead in the first period. The slim lead held up until the Bruins gave up a PP goal in the second period, and Hall had several chances created by his skating speed with seven shots on net and 11 shot attempts in 20:03 of ice time to go along with his goal and plus-1 rating. Hall was actually the only plus player on Boston’s roster in the 4-1 loss where many other Boston Bruins players simply didn’t bring anything close to their best.
Taylor Hall sneaks one past Sorokin.
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/RCmH0Lquyl
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 18, 2022
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of shot attempts for Patrice Bergeron in 19:36 of ice time in his first game back from a head injury while winning 12-of-18 draws as well in a solid all-around effort.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “They did all the things they typically do when they’re on. We’ve got to execute to a level where we can stem the pushes that they’re going to have. Clearly, they won the slot battle in the third period. Things add up after a while.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy with a pretty clinical diagnosis of a disappointing road loss.